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Important Antique Chinese Export Lacquer Tea Caddy decorated with Chinese Coins Circa 1900.

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index | high resolution

Description:
Ref: 663TC http://hygra.com/box/663TC 
    Important high quality Chinese Export Lacquer Tea Chest of  decorated with scenes which are significant both in trading terms and in Sino-European relations and art.   
    The lacquer work on the top is raised;  it has been built up slowly layer by layer. 
    The scenes: The orchestration of activity reflects the descriptions of gardens with islands  and water where business as well as pleasure was the natural way of life. 
    For the Chinese water is lucky, as most business transactions took place near rivers which were also used for transporting commodities.   
    The association of luck with water is still strong today.  The painting is in two colours of gold is executed with mastery of art of the art of brush stroke:  The traders are depicted with a minimum of of lines.
    The cultured formal Chinese traders  are toing and froing from the focal point which appears to be a table at which some important robed figures are gathered. The impression given is of negotiation rather than festivity. 
    The most unusual feature of the decoration is the border which features Chinese coins interwoven with bamboo  and flowers on the top. The coins bear the reign titles of Ming and Qing emperors.

The cash coins depicted include those of  The Jiaqing Emperor, Hong Xiuquan, Qing Dynasty, Taiping, The Prince of Tang, The Qianlong Emperor, The Hongwu Emperor, Taiping Tianguo, The Yongle Emperor, The Daoguang Emperor, The Guangxu Emperor,  The Hongwu Emperor, The Yongzheng Emperor, Ming Ming, The Kangxi Emperor, The Wanli Emperor and the last Emperor Puyi.  

As Canton was not under the control of the Taiping,
太平, the inclusion of this coin strikes a very rare bold seditious note, perhaps. It must have been inserted in honor of the commissioning client. 
Coins in this context must be symbolic of the wealth generated through trade. The "bamboo", a richly significant oriental motif, is meaningful here, in its quality as a  homonym with the Chinese word "to wish".
Inside there is a hinged pewter tea container. The top has engraved depictions of the Immortals.

The quality of work is usually  associated with Chinese  lacquer exported in the early 19th
Century. The presence of some of the coins of the last Emperor's indicates that the tea caddy was made at the end of the 19th Century.   

Puyi's  宣統 abdication in 1912 marked the end of millennia of dynastic rule in China and thus he is known throughout the world by the sobriquet , nickname, "The Last Emperor" of China. 

Origin: China;  Circa: 1900; Materials: lacquer on wood:  Pewter Liner. 

Size: 28 cm wide by 20  cm by  16 cm:  11.1 inches wide by  7.9 inches by  6.3  inches.

Condition: good overall; working lock and key;  some shrinkage to top with slight losses: see images

Request current  list of available sewing boxes with prices.
Request current  list of available writing boxes with prices.

Request current  list of available jewelry boxes with prices.

Request current  list of available tea caddies with prices.

boxes@hygra.com

 

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The coins are identified at: Hygra: Antique Boxes and Tea Caddies, Key to coins on caddy:

 

FRONT 12 coins,  clockwise from top left

The orchestration of activity reflects the descriptions of gardens with islands  and water where business as well as pleasure was the natural way of life.

<font >
        嘉 慶</font>
The Jiaqing Emperor

嘉 慶

 (Chinese: 嘉慶帝; pinyin: Jiāqngd;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki
/Jiaqing_Emperor

1796-1820

 

Most of the Coins are identified at 

Hygra: Coins on Chinese Export lacquer Tea Caddy 

This is a work in progress!

I am grateful for help given by David Tompsett in identifying the Chinese Characters on the coins. and  Wikipedia.org which fleshed up the Emperors in whose reign the coins were first minted and the various coin traders who had published images of coins. I have linked to them.
Some of the coin images were from the British Museum.

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Enlarge Picture

Inside there is a hinged pewter tea container. The top has engraved depictions of the Immortals.

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

The orchestration of activity reflects the descriptions of gardens with islands  and water where business as well as pleasure was the natural way of life.

For the Chinese water is lucky, as most business transactions took place near rivers which were also used for transporting commodities.   

The association of luck with water is still strong today.

 

  The most unusual feature of the decoration is the border which features Chinese coins interwoven with bamboo  and flowers on the top. The coins bear the reign titles of Ming and Qing emperors.

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

The cultured formal Chinese traders  are toing and froing from the focal point which appears to be a table at which some important robed figures are gathered. The impression given is of negotiation rather than festivity. 

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

 

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For the Chinese water is lucky, as most business transactions took place near rivers which were also used for transporting commodities.   

The association of luck with water is still strong today.

 

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

Enlarge Picture

Attitude!

 

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Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

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The painting is in two colours of gold is executed with mastery of art of the art of brush stroke:  The traders are depicted with a minimum of of lines.

 

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 "We can come to an understanding!"

The eyes of the seated figure tell a different story to the eyes of the standing figure.

The deftness  of  line  indicating body postures we all recognize.

The picture seems to have been laid out with a few lines which are visible here as incised lines.    

 

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

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Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

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With a few strokes the artist has communicated contentedness.

 The trader  is obviously happy with the deal he has struck or the goods he is carrying.

Once again the picture is laid out with a few pen strokes. 

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Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

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A woman is depicted in this group: it was quite acceptable for women to transact business. 

 

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Ready to sign up to the deal! The figures around the table are in long robes denoting their importance.

The figures on the top are raise giving a 3d effect.

 

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

The lacquer work on the top is raised;  it has been built up slowly layer by layer. 

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

The orchestration of activity reflects the descriptions of gardens with islands  and water where business as well as pleasure was the natural way of life. 


    For the Chinese water is lucky, as most business transactions took place near rivers which were also used for transporting commodities. 

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

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Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

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A

 

 The caddy has swan-neck handles to the sides.

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Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

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Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

The inside of the lid is decorated with a double wheatsheaf.  

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Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

Enlarge Picture

Inside there is a hinged pewter tea container. The top has engraved depictions of the Immortals.

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

Enlarge Picture

 

Inside there is a hinged pewter tea container. The top has engraved depictions of the Immortals.

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

All text and images and linked images are 1999-2014 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com